When it comes to designing & making a garment, construction wise Sleeve is considered to be the most difficult. There are mainly three different types of sleeve: 1) Set-in Sleeve-, 2) Raglan Sleeve, 3) Kimono Sleeve.

Set- in sleeve, can be seen in tops, shirts, etc. Cap
Sleeve, Gathered sleeve, Petal/ Tulip sleeve, bell Sleeve, bishop, shirt sleeve, leg-o- mutton sleeve, puff sleeve are all variation of this Set-in Sleeve.

Raglan can be mostly seen in track suit, t-shirts, Knitted menswear and Sports apparels.

While the Kimono Sleeves, as the name suggests, can be seen in kimonos. Dolman, Bat wing are its variation.

Petal/ Tulip Sleeve is a very feminine and flattering variation of Set-in Sleeve. It is also the easiest to stitch and gives the most amount of arm lift out of all the other Set-in sleeve. Great if you do a lot of work. It can be added to casual, semi formal and formal outfit by just changing the fabric.

This is also the first Sleeve that I had learnt in my Pattern Making classes. I have attached a Petal Sleeve Pattern for size US34 or UK8, attached along with this tutorial. You can print this in an A3 page at 100%. Do not choose the crop to fit option. Since the Arm-scye of every pattern is different, that’s why it is wise to measure everything and make alterations as required.

This is my first tutorial here that is on fashion & clothing. If you like this tutorial, please vote for me in the Pattern Contest. I would love to get that serger machine.

Step 1: Materials Required Making the Pattern:

1. Any Large Craft or white bond paper - 2 pieces

2. Note book

3. Pencil

4. Ruler

5. Scissor

6. Measuring tape

7. Calculator (Optional)

8. A curve scale/ French curve/ anything to make a nice smooth curve.

9. A garment whose sleeve pattern you want to draft

10. Pearl head pins or dress maker’s pins.

11. Some nice Fabric for the sleeve.

12. Needle and thread

13. Sewing machine

14. Serger (Optional)

Basic Sewing required.

Step 2: Steps Before Making the Pattern:

The following tutorial is may seem large & daunting but I have done this so that one can understand the process easily. This style of Pattern making is also known as the Scandinavian pattern making technique

Note: All measurements are in Inches. Feel free to convert them in Centimeters if you like.

Conversion: 1 Inches= 2.54 cm; 1 cm= 0.4 inches.

(Skip this if you already have a sleeve pattern- G to Step 8)

In your Notebook, note down the following:

1. Arm-scye Length= _____________ Inches

2. Arm scye Width= _____________ Inches

3. Bicep circumference= _____________ Inches + 2 to 3 inches Ease. (Do not skip the ease)

4. Cap height= Armscye Length divided by 3= _____________ Inches

5. Sleeve Length= 8 to 10 inches.

6. Sleeve Round Measure= _______ inches+ 2 to 3 Inches Ease. (From the Shoulder measure down by 8 to 10 inches. At that position measure the circumference of your arm.)

Steps before making the pattern:

1. Lay your garment Flat on a piece of paper. Trace the front and back Arm hole of the garment in question. Go in by ¼ inches and re- draw the Arm hole without its seam allowance on Paper and mark the side seam. Note in the above figure the red line shows the Armscye length.

2. Draw a Straight Horizontal line (Blue color) & two Straight Vertical lines (green color), perpendicular to the base line which touches the further most concave part of the armhole.

3. Mark the points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 respectively as Shown in figure.

4. Measure the Curve length from 1-3-5 respectively. This will be the armscye length

5. Measure the straight length from 2-3-5, and this will be the armscye width measure.

6. Measure the bicep circumference of the person in question. This is the widest measure of your upper arm. You can even flex your muscles and see. Add ease accordingly. If you don’t, you won’t be able to lift your arm.

7. Find out the Cap Height using the formula.

Step 3: Steps to Make the Pattern- I

Please refer to the clear figure drawings:

(Figure 1)

1. Take a Paper, and draw a straight vertical line of around 8 to 10 inches in the middle. Mark as (A) and (B) respectively.

2. On the same line Mark (C) where AC= Cap Height.

3. Draw two Horizontal lines at point (B) and (C) perpendicular to segment- AB.

4. On the horizontal line at Point (B), Mark D and E and at Point (C), Mark F and G. Where DB = BE= FC= CG= (Bicep circumference + Ease) divided by 2.

Step 4: Steps to Make the Pattern- II

(Refer to Figure 2)
Draw a Small horizontal line at Point (A). Mark (J) & (K), where JA= AK= 1 Inches.

Mark (L) on Segment FC. Where FL= Armscye width divided by 2. (Refer to Figure 3)

Draw a Vertical line upward of around 1 & ¼ inches at (L) and Mark as (M). 8. Joint (MJ) & (GK) using a straight line. (Refer to Figure 4)

Step 5: Steps to Make the Pattern- III

(Please refer to figure 5)

1. Measure the Line (MJ) and divide it in three equal parts. Label points as X1 and X2.

2. Similarly, Measure the line (GK) and divide it in four equal parts. Label points as Y1, Y2 and Y3.

3. Draw small perpendicular lines at these points.

4. At X1 go up by ¼ inches; X2 Go up by ½ Inches.

5. At Y1 go up by 1/8 inches; at Y2 go down by 1/8 inches; and at Y3 go down by ½ inches.

Step 6: Steps to Make the Pattern- IV

(Refer to Figure 6)
1- Join F-M- A with a curve. The curve line must also pass through the new points at X1 & X2.

2- Join A- G with a Curve. The curve line must also pass through the new points at Y1, Y2 & Y3. In the figure; the Arc is drawn using red color. Make sure the curve is nice and smooth. Check how the line passes at the Point (A).

Step 7: Steps to Make the Pattern- V

(Refer to Figure 7)
1- On Segment (DE) Mark (P) & (Q), where PB= BQ= (Sleeve Round Measure+ Ease) divided by 2.

2- Join PF and QG. For a better fit Make these lines slightly curved.

3- That’s it the Set-in sleeve Pattern is done. (Figure 8)

Continue with this pattern to make the Petal sleeve otherwise add ¼ inches or ½ inches seam allowance at the curves and around 2 inches for hem. Mark all the Notch points and draw the grain line. (Refer to Figure 9)

Step 8: How to Make a Petal Sleeve-

(Refer to Figure 10)

1. From Point A, measure around 2.5 to 3.5 inches on either side.

2. Mark as A1 and A2.

3. Mark B1 & B2, on both sides 1 Inch away from Point (B) on the horizontal line.

4. Join B1 with A2 and B2 with A1 First with Straight line then draw a slightly curved line. (Refer to figure 11)

5. Note how the pattern is over lapping. (Figure 12)

6. Trace both panels on a separate sheet of paper. (Figure 13)

7. Cut out the pattern without the Allowance. And position them together as shown in Figure 14.

8. Re-trace the pattern on another piece of paper with all its notches and smooth-en the lower portion using a slight curve line. (Refer to figure 15 & 16)

(Refer to figure 17)

9. Add ¼ inches Seam allowance all over. Double check to make sure all notches are in place.

10. Draw the grain Line.

Step 9: Sleeve Construction & Finishing: (Stitching Options & How to Prepare the Pattern)

There are various ways to finish a sleeve. You may use any of the following mentioned method:

1. Without lining- Roll Hem the edges/ Use a contrast color piping finish/ ; Overlap the pattern; then stitch the sleeve along with the body; Over lock the edges(knits& woven)/ do a bias bind(Woven)/ Mock French(for sheer georgette, chiffons, etc). (NOT SHOWN HERE)

2. With full Sleeve & body lining- This is a very large process. If requested I will make another tutorial on this- How to Line any Garment?

3. With lining in the sleeve portion only- Use a contrast color lining other wise same fabric may also be used; Process explained in details below. Time will vary according to how fast you can hem.

Please note:You don’t have to hem if you cannot or don’t have the patience. Over locking the edges also works. The following process gives the garment a nice and clean look like those in a high end garment & there will be no seam to rub the your skin. And not to mention you get to learn a different kind of hem.


1. Cut the pattern out after giving seam allowance of around 1/4 inches all over. Also make ‘v’ Shaped cuts in the pattern where the notches are positioned for easy tracing.

Step 10: Sleeve Construction & Finishing: (Ironing & Fabric Laying)

2. Iron out all the kinks and folds in the fabric.

3. Lay down the fabric Back side facing up and Place both the shell and Lining such that the Right side of the shell is facing the right side of the lining..

Step 11: Sleeve Construction & Finishing: (Tracing)

4. Place the pattern on top.

5. Trace it out. Do not forget to trace the notches. When tracing the other sleeve make sure to flip the pattern.

6. Pin them both in place. So that they don’t shift while cutting.

Step 12: Sleeve Construction & Finishing: (cont..)

7. Using a rotary cutter or a sharp pair of scissor cut the pattern out.

Cut out the ‘V’ notches as shown in picture. Do not take the pins out yet.

Step 13: Sleeve Construction & Finishing: (Stitching)

8. Stitch the lower portion. Start and end with a lock stitch.

Do not stitch the Armscye curve.

You can now remove the pins that held the shell and lining together.

Cut Slashes as shown in picture. This will make turning & ironing easier.

Step 14: Sleeve Construction & Finishing: (cont..)

9. Flip it out and iron it flat. Do not burn the fabric like me. I left the iron on when I had gone to eat some cakes. :(

Step 15: Sleeve Construction & Finishing: (forming the Petal)

10. Overlap the pattern. Match the notch at the cap the other two will follow.

You can do either Front-Over-Back or Back-over-Front.

I am doing the back-over-front. If you do the front over back the tulip design will be visible at the back.

This depends on your design but either way is correct.

Step 16: Sleeve Construction & Finishing: (cont..)

11. Pin the sleeve and the bodice together.

Stitch the entire curve. Since my Fabric was very thick, I had used a stitch length of 3.5.

12. Flip it on the right side to make sure there is no puckering. Otherwise you will have to undo the stitching to fix it again. But with this tulip sleeve it is hard to do any blunder.

13. Measure the Arm hole and add around 2 inches to it.

Step 17: Sleeve Construction & Finishing: (bias Binding)

You can use those readily available bias strips. But I am showing you how to make your own bias strip.

From a piece of Fabric cut out a bias-strip of width 1& ¼ Inches and length equivalent to the Armhole measure + 2 Inches. If you don’t have enough fabric to cut it out in a single piece then cut in 2 pieces join them together using a diagonal seam.

Fold ¼ inches on either side & Iron it flat and trim one edge.

Step 18: Sleeve Construction & Finishing: (bias Binding Cont..)

Take the garment. Make sure all the allowance is facing in one direction.

Leaving around an Inch of the strip, pin it at the side-seam – sleeve joint.

Start hemming. To show the process I have used a contrast thread. Make sure to match your thread.

Insert the thread from inside the strip. Depending upon the weight, take around 1 to 3 thread from the body pass the needle and thread through. Again insert the needle back in the strip from where the thread had come out previously. Pull the needle out after taking ¼ inch of Fabric. Repeat.

Hem till you almost reach the end. Fold the other end to check how much fabric is required and trim off the excess. Fold both the edges together as shown and finish hemming on one side.

Step 19: Sleeve Construction & Finishing: (bias Binding Cont..)

Similarly, pin the other side and finish hemming like before.

This hem is very time consuming, took me 20 minutes to finish just one sleeve.

The reason for doing this rather difficult hem is that the stitch is not visible on either side and is a lot stronger than a tailor’s hem. If you turn the garment on its right side even if you look very closely you can hardly see any stitching that too when I had used a contrast color thread.

And yeah! then you can also brag about how you did this awesome hem.

Step 20: Petal Sleeve Complete


Your Tulip/ Petal sleeve is complete.

If anyone has any problem with the pattern or stuck during construction or need help understanding any step please let me know. I will try my best to answer as best & as fast as possible.

Also please share your pics. I would love to see how others have used this pattern.

About This Instructable




Bio: I love cats& Japanese anime..well... I am obsessed about them really Apart from ogling them, I am a professional fashion designer hoping to launch ... More »
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